Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Heaven and Earth

"You're so heavenly-minded that you're no earthly good."

This is a pretty interesting dualistic phrase that I've heard a few times before. It brings to bear how our spiritual (or religious, depending on who you talk to) lives dictate our day-to-day conduct. From idea, I have a couple of questions:

1. Do you think that it's possible to be too spiritual (and/or religious)? If so, how can you tell where to find a balance?

2. Does the idea of living for Heaven (or whatever Utopia you believe in) have a positive or negative impact on our lives here on Earth?

Any takers?

- ACL

13 "Insiders" spoke their mind. Join in...:

The H.C. said...

Hey Dre,
I'll give it a shot.
1) Yes, I do believe you can be too spiritual/religious. It's like washing your hands, a good idea as long as you only do it enough to stay clean. Do it too much and the skin suffers. Committing yourself too much to religion and not enough to your children, wife, family, or even your own well-being can leave you not well-adjusted enough to serve your values.
2)As you know, I'm not Christian. I have however, like most people, contemplated what's after this life. I've always thought there's no harm in believing and it gives me comfort so why not believe (My wife says that makes me a luke-warm believer at best.). Say what you want Atheists, I believe in some way you make yourself more cynical, empty, and hopeless by not believing you have purpose and the chance at eternal life with the ones you love. G.P.

Malik said...

I don't think you can be too religious. That's like saying you're too truthful, or too loving, or too just. I don't think that's possible. The problem is using religion to justify our own fears and failures. Religion is the tool. How we use it is up to us.

"For every excellent thing, peerless though it may be, can still be diverted to the wrong ends. A lighted lamp in the hands of an ignorant child or of the blind will not dispel the surrounding darkness nor light up the house—it will set both the bearer and the house on fire. Can we, in such an instance, blame the lamp? No, by the Lord God! To the seeing, a lamp is a guide and will show him his path; but it is a disaster to the blind."

Will Luongo said...

1) I do not think you can be too religious. I think you can be mistaken about what your religion is and what it is supposed to be. Like Malik said, it is like being too truthful. Is it possible? No, but you can make mistakes in the name of truthfulness.

2) There are studies that show that people with some religious inclination tend to be happier and more satisfied with life than those that do not. So even without getting into salvation-ese, I would have to say yes.

Joslyn said...

I agree with Will, I think.

I believe that it's possible to mis-interpret spirituality. If we follow God's plan the way that He meanfor us to follow, we wouldn'nt have as many issues with it. For instance:

The Bible ditactes that a man's first responsibilty is his home. Now, there are 3 ways that a man could interpet this:

1. "I'm the man, and my first responsibility is my home, so I'll stay at home all the time."

2. "I'm a man, and my first responsibity is my home, so I'll work at every given moment to make sure that my home is properly funded."

3. "I'm a man, and my first responsibilty is my home, so I'll work hard, AND spend time with my family, to ensure that our financial and emotional needs are met."

Unfortunately, I've seen all three extremes. Which incidnet one chooses to go by, is how they choose to intrepret their spirituailty.

Thank you

ajbendaƱa said...

I could not have put it better than the h.c.

Andre said...

@ HC: "It's like washing your hands, a good idea as long as you only do it enough to stay clean. Do it too much and the skin suffers. "

Anything you do too much of with your body can be dangerous. But I'm calling into question matters that go a little deeper than just your physical well-being. now if you're making the argument that obsessively washing your hands (or whatever physical activity you do) is done in the name of your spirituality, that's a different story; one that I was trying to address with my questions.

@ Malik, Will, and Aldo: "The problem is using religion to justify our own fears and failures."

"I do not think you can be too religious. I think you can be mistaken about what your religion is and what it is supposed to be."

I think that could be an extent to which a person is labeled TOO spiritual/religious. Right? If they get to a point where their spiritual/religious beliefs become too damaging (either to oneself or to others), where is the line drawn? Similarly to HC's point about washing hands to the detriment of your health, many things are done in the name of religion that destroy; even if the intention is to do 'good'.

I don't believe that Bush, for instance, is evil. I think he's guided (or misguided, depending on your angle) by religion.

@ Joslyn: "I believe that it's possible to mis-interpret spirituality. If we follow God's plan the way that He meanfor us to follow, we wouldn'nt have as many issues with it."

If people 'misinterpret' spirituality (as an earnest mistake of belief, and not just from the stubbornness of their hearts), to what extent are they held accountable by God?

The H.C. said...

Thanks Ajbendana,
It was getting a tad lonely over here.

Joslyn said...

Well, Andre,

This is a two-fold answer:

1. I strongly believe that God looks at the heart. For instance, I don't believe that God would expect my ancestors, who were forbidden to learn how to read, to have the same understanding of salvation as I. However, I believe that He would definetly look at what they did with what they had. (which, by the way, will probably get them more stripes than any of us; they did way more with way less)

2. God doesn't expect us to become saved and then become stand-still. For instance, you weren't asking these types of questions when you were 12, because you had to GROW in your spirituality to even KNOW to ask these types of questions. As Christians, it's OUR responsibilty to become wiser in the Lord. It's not your Pastor's, not your Mom, Dad, whomever. It's YOUR RESPONSIBILTY to become knowledgeable in Christ. So, in essece, I believe that if you get to heaven and say:

"But God, I didn't know!!!"

He might respond, "Did you seek?"

One last thought: As I grew in the Lord, it wasn't good enough for me to say that I was Christian because "that's how I grew up." As I GREW in the Lord, I researched other religions and beliefs, and then made a descion. This way when the Lord asks me did I seek, I can reply with an honest "yes."

♥ said...

where in heavens name are you??????


The H.C. said...

Hey All,
I talked to Andre today and he said to tell all of you he's been really busy and will be back as soon as he gets time. In the meantime, I hear The Hippie Conservative has a great site (shameless self promotion, I know) until Dre gets back.

ajbendaƱa said...

Yo Andre, you alive?

Greeneyes said...

Romeo, O Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo? Uh Andre~ My King that is !!!LOL
Hope all is well in thy kingdom
♥♥♥

HeiressChild said...

good post andre. as you may know, my internet was down for over a month, so i'm doing a little back-reading and liked this post.

i agree with Joslyn's answer, especially her last response (as i usually do)and wanted to add my response also.

i don't think a person can be TOO spiritual/religious, but i do believe people can misuse or abuse it.

for me, personally, i strive to please God. so what does that entail and is it too much?

for me it entails living the Word as best as i know it. being filled with, and led by the Holy Spirit helps me with my day-to-day living. am i perfect? no, but i try to walk upright before God and please Him, which is Who i have to answer to. in doing so, it means not doing some things, yet doing other things.

now to some people, that may be too much. in my earlier years, i was studying the Bible a lot and not doing a lot of outside stuff, and my mother thought i needed more balance in my life. later on, i did add back in some balance with other things, but that was the time to do it. i'm an older christian now with a lot more wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.

the idea of living for Heaven here on earth does have a positive effect on me. it makes me more conscious of treating people right and doing what i know are the right things to do according to the Word of God, which encompasses everything we go thru in life.

we never know when our life will end, so i strive to do what's right so "i won't be caught with my pants down." however, i know forgiveness, mercy, and grace are provisions to me that are still very much a part of my everyday life. this is my learning ground.